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Old 09-30-2010, 10:19 AM   #31
bill_mchale
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My thoughts too. Why? The Kobo has worse specs and no browser. It should be priced at $99 to remain competitive.
I expect its price will come down soon enough. Its a lot easier to drop prices than to raise them. Besides, look at how much Sony is charging for its new eReaders!

The way I see it, Kobo is not gunning to beat Amazon, they are gunning to be the Amazon alternative. In the US that means their primary competitor is Barnes and Noble and in other countries, I think they have even less competition. That being said, I have heard enough reports about issues with their software reader and their store, that I think they have a lot of work to do if they want to get and keep that number 2 spot.

That being said, I do like the looks of the black one
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:59 AM   #32
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I am having difficulty understanding why you would buy a Kobo at that price when the K3 or Nook has the same, if not better, features then the Kobo.
It's very interesting when you get actual hands-on experience with the devices. Things happen that you may not have considered just looking at the features and specs.

I have a Kobo and a Kindle 3. I have played with the Nook and didn't care for it. It's too heavy and thick. The Kindle is new so I'm still getting used to it, but here's a quick, subjective comparison with the Kobo:

1. The bevels on the K3 are curved (convex) while the Kobo's edges are flat. The K3 feels like it's going to slip out of my hands because of this, whereas the Kobo feels more secure. This feeling is exacerbated by the K3's keyboard, which is where I grip my Kobo. I'm learning that I can grip this area pretty firmly without pressing a button but it isn't as comfy as holding the Kobo.

2. There's a lot of stuff on the K3 that I really don't care about, such as sharing bookmarks with the world at large. I did a little Kindle Store shopping on the reader and that was nice, but I just downloaded a free book. If I were buying a book, I'd want to download it to my computer first anyway, the way I buy an epub.

3. I like the dictionary function on the K3, but I don't expect to use it much. If the Kobo had that function, that would be nice, even if it were a little clunkier to use.

4. Page turns on the K3 are really quick! Wow!

5. The displays seem comparable. If I could put the screens side by side with no bevels between them, I might be able to discern a contrast difference. But the difference doesn't leap out at me like the page turn speed does.

If I were handling both readers in the store, I might very well go with the Kobo because it feels better to me, and I like being able to check out ebooks from the library. But since the Kindle is the known quantity, I agree that the Kobo needs to be more price aggressive. (On the other hand, Amazon has the deep pockets to compete on price, too, even if they lose money, so Kobo may have decided not to do that.)
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
I expect its price will come down soon enough. Its a lot easier to drop prices than to raise them. Besides, look at how much Sony is charging for its new eReaders!
Sony is a huge multinational conglomerate and can afford to charge high prices. They have very deep pockets with some $80 billion in revenue last year. eBooks are more like a hobby to them.

I'd consider a Kobo at $99, but not any higher. The Kindle is better spec'd. But I must say, that the black Kobo is the best looking ereader on the market today.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:36 PM   #34
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Sony is a huge multinational conglomerate and can afford to charge high prices. They have very deep pockets with some $80 billion in revenue last year. eBooks are more like a hobby to them.

I'd consider a Kobo at $99, but not any higher. The Kindle is better spec'd. But I must say, that the black Kobo is the best looking ereader on the market today.
Yes, Sony is huge, but the result of that is that it should be able to make its readers for less than, not more than a small guy like Kobo. Its easier for a company like Sony to drive hard bargains with suppliers because the suppliers will expect that they will buy a lot of their stuff.

I agree that ideally Kobo should strive for the $100 mark, if for no other reason than its a psychological barrier. In realistic terms, if we figure the reader has a life of two years, the 40 dollar difference comes out to about 3.6 cents a day. Not exactly a make or break difference in reality... but psychologically $110 is as bad as $139.

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Old 09-30-2010, 01:16 PM   #35
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2. There's a lot of stuff on the K3 that I really don't care about, such as sharing bookmarks with the world at large. I did a little Kindle Store shopping on the reader and that was nice, but I just downloaded a free book. If I were buying a book, I'd want to download it to my computer first anyway, the way I buy an epub.
I turned off the social sharing thing on my DXG. I don't other peoples highlights, bookmarks, or notes and I don't share mine.

I can see how the feel of the device is important. I know that I will be using any device I buy in a case so it is not something I think about when comparing devices but that does not make it a valid point.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:09 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
Yes, Sony is huge, but the result of that is that it should be able to make its readers for less than, not more than a small guy like Kobo. Its easier for a company like Sony to drive hard bargains with suppliers because the suppliers will expect that they will buy a lot of their stuff.

I agree that ideally Kobo should strive for the $100 mark, if for no other reason than its a psychological barrier. In realistic terms, if we figure the reader has a life of two years, the 40 dollar difference comes out to about 3.6 cents a day. Not exactly a make or break difference in reality... but psychologically $110 is as bad as $139.

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Which is why I think Sony isn't all that serious about ereaders.

People don't think in terms of cost over product life. They look at purchase price. Anyway, if I had to choose between the Kindle and the Kobo, I'd get the Kindle.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:29 PM   #37
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My guess is that the prices of new models are higher than expected to offset the licensing fees and R&D cost of the new touch screens.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:44 PM   #38
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Another Kindle Wannabe

Kobo "got" me with their original release earlier this year. Bought it for what it does not do as well as what is can do: I did not want 'Net connectivity, I wanted a good READING device. And that the Kobo is. Still lighter and smaller than the Kindle3, too.

But this new model? Nothing males it stand out from the Kindle3 to make me want to buy it.

It is just another Kindle wanna-be.

Long live Kobo.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:45 PM   #39
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My guess is that the prices of new models are higher than expected to offset the licensing fees and R&D cost of the new touch screens.
A lot of good that does you if you don't sell very many.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:47 PM   #40
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Sony is a huge multinational conglomerate and can afford to charge high prices. They have very deep pockets with some $80 billion in revenue last year. eBooks are more like a hobby to them.
That's a, erm, novel perspective. Wal-mart is a gigantic corporation so it can afford to charge higher prices than its competitors?

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I'd consider a Kobo at $99, but not any higher. The Kindle is better spec'd. But I must say, that the black Kobo is the best looking ereader on the market today.
You appear to be are discounting -- no pun intended -- what Kobo brings to the market, especially outside of the lower 48 states.

Kindle 3 is a great device at $139. But it doesn't offer simple (legal) public library access, or seamless (legal) access to DRM ePub files of content that Amazon doesn't carry. Kindle offers several extras that, at the end of the day, may not matter to a significant number of users -- like web browsing, on device twitter access and text-to-speech.

Kobo's $139 value proposition is an easy, simple user interface designed for reading. They've added a dictionary; they've added on device wifi delivery of content; they've added syncing of bookmarks across devices. Kobo continues to deliver seamless delivery of public library content, and DRM ePub (and non-DRM ePub for that matter). It's light and cozy; has a slip-resistant quilted back. The kobobooks bookstore offers localised content in multiple markets.

Remarkably, Nook and Sony cannot make similar claims having opted for a US-market only world or a touch-screen vs wifi content delivery gamble and, as noted, a willingness to attempt to charge $100 more (67% in Canada) for the same screen size. The Kobo comes with a $34 "bonus" of two Random House best sellers at the moment ... making it possible to buy a Kindle 3 AND a new Kobo wifi for the effective price of one PRS 650. Yup, that's "price leadership" by Sony ... and perhaps supports your notion that Sony is in the e-reader game as a hobby.

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:18 AM   #41
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That's a, erm, novel perspective. Wal-mart is a gigantic corporation so it can afford to charge higher prices than its competitors?
Nice try, but wrong. Walmart's business is selling stuff and it relies on that. What other money makers do they have besides selling stuff?

Sony's business, on the other hand, is multifaceted. Their entire business doesn't revolve around ereaders. They make movies, music, computers, gaming systems, cameras, camcorders, printers, televisions, home theater systems, home audio systems, Blu-ray players, DVD players, MP3 players, media players, radios, speakers, headphones, smartphones, car nav systems, car audio, etc.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:33 AM   #42
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Nice try, but wrong. Walmart's business is selling stuff and it relies on that. What other money makers do they have besides selling stuff?

Sony's business, on the other hand, is multifaceted. Their entire business doesn't revolve around ereaders. They make movies, music, computers, gaming systems, cameras, camcorders, printers, televisions, home theater systems, home audio systems, Blu-ray players, DVD players, MP3 players, media players, radios, speakers, headphones, smartphones, car nav systems, car audio, etc.
Ummm... Sony makes zero money making any of that stuff. It makes its money selling stuff. Considering the issues Sony has had over the past few years, they can't afford to maintain a product that looses money. What they can do is increase the perceived value by offering something the others don't (A very good touch screen) and offering outstanding build quality. Now, whether that justifies their price is something only the consumer can decide.

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:44 AM   #43
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What they can do is increase the perceived value by offering something the others don't (A very good touch screen) and offering outstanding build quality. Now, whether that justifies their price is something only the consumer can decide.
That's just it. Is that touch screen worth the extra $91 it charges over the Kindle's price of $139?
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:54 AM   #44
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That's just it. Is that touch screen worth the extra $91 it charges over the Kindle's price of $139?
I believed I already defined the answer (well, that and the metal body and excellent build quality of the Sony). It depends on the customer. If not enough customers do find value there, the price will either drop or Sony will stop making the reader.

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:59 AM   #45
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Sony will do what it'll do. Since it's future doesn't depend on this one product, it can afford low sales numbers.
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